All is moving forward in my classroom. Math groups are happening. Social Studies is moving forward. Spelling is underway. Reading is progressing. Writing is my big area of focus this year. I want to look back at this year and think that was the year that I really started teaching writing well.
Thankfully, some of our stars are aligned. Our district sets benchmark assessments three times a year in different writing genres. This guides our curriculum in writing for the year. The first genre is Personal Narrative. So, we’re moving forward. Today, I started reading to the kids from Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry. It’s a delightful story about an unusual 2nd grade girl who tells stories about herself. At the same time, we started using our 5 subject notebooks to start this unit of study. We started with what the class in the book learns about writing Personal Narrative which is that they need to have a beginning, middle, and an end. They also are about you and you are the main character. The kids got excited about it.
Along with all that work, we are doing Poetry every Friday. I’ve done that for three years now. It’s a huge success and I’ve gotten a lot more ideas now about how to go on. We started last week with writing Fib poems. I love them — they are quick and easy to write and the kids really enjoy it. One of the sections in our 5 section notebook will be for poetry lessons. We also intend to cover Summary and Response to Literature. I know that’s only 4 sections — maybe I’ll come up with some else for after the last benchmark.
I am gathering books to read for our personal narrative touchstones. I have a few pieces. I’m also gathering resources from around the InterWebs to be get me started. I’ve never been one to feel the need to re-invent the wheel. I’m excited about it. I can sense the kids are excited about it.
I know this year won’t be perfect but I also know it will be better than any previous year has been. Buckle up, class, we’re writing now!